A Look At  Equipment Layout for Distilleries 

A Look At  Equipment Layout for Distilleries 

A Look At  Equipment Layout for Distilleries 

Your equipment layout for your distillery is a crucial, yet often overlooked success factor. It isn’t just a matter of compliance and regulations. How you structure your  equipment can lead to better production yields.

More production means more profits!

Let's look at some fundamental layout tips that help keep your equipment within regulation, and also set up for success.

Budgeting

Before you do anything, you must understand your budget and have a concrete plan in place. If this is your first time creating a distillery equipment layout, you're about to have a lot of equipment costs and permit fees hitting your accounts.

The adage of preparing for the worst is critical and you want plenty of room in your budget to cover any unexpected costs that creep up.

Planning

Having a plan in place will prepare you for these high costs and allow you to schedule each step of the process, including meetings with regulators and inspectors.

A plan is also helpful to ensure that you use every inch of your available space most logically. Laying out your  equipment needs to be strategic.

Rarely do managers find themselves with too much space, but too little space is a common problem. Managing that space is a primary concern that your plan needs to cover.

Process-Inspired Layout

As you begin planning where your equipment will fit, you need to consider your process. It isn't just a matter of placing material where it physically fits in your space. Instead, you need it to fit your distilling, distributing, warehousing processes.

You wouldn’t want to be transporting unwashed mash through your stilling equipment because your wash backs are on the opposite side of the distillery, right? Well, you also don’t want to be needlessly carrying materials from one side of the distillery  to the other.

Every piece of equipment needs to align with your process. This will improve your output and efficiency while limiting wasted resources.

Maintain A Functional Racetrack

Your equipment layout needs to consider human foot traffic. You want distillery workers to be able to move efficiently and safely across the floor. Thus, you need to structure your layout to allow this.

You want to have a central racetrack that will serve as your distilleries primary highway. This is where forklifts and other machines will travel. It always needs to be kept clear of obstacles.

You can maintain smaller roadways in various parts of your distillery where foot/machine traffic is more limited.

Remember, saving time is a crucial element of efficiency. It shouldn't take long for workers or materials to be transported from A to B.

Regulatory Concerns

Regulations may handcuff your dream distillery  layout. There are specific rules and standards for how plumbing, electrical elements, and ventilation needs to be carried out.

This may impact your equipment layout planning dramatically. So, be sure to involve the building, fire and health departments, and the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax And Trade Bureau) early on in the process to limit the number of surprises.

You’ll need their collective approvals anyways.

Service & Maintenance

Another concern when structuring your equipment  layout is maintenance. You want your equipment to be kept clean and in perfect working order. Maintaining this level of order is difficult for some distilleries. 

If you design your equipment layout without considering maintenance and cleaning, you may find yourself squeezing into a too-small space trying to dust and clean equipment or reach a control box.

Conclusions

Once you’ve designed your layout, you want to be sure that it is working effectively. A distillery management solution, like Hoochware, can be a great tool that monitors how efficient your distillery is operating.

Finding small ways to adjust your equipment layout and improve distillery efficiency is key to growing your business and achieving success!